Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000 to 2009.
What you are about to read will spoil this movie. Don’t get mad. This will spare you quite a bit of mental agony and brutally executed brain cells. You’re welcome.
Seven lessons from 2008’s Seven Pounds.
1) Texting while driving is bad. You could kill someone or, in Will Smith’s case, career momentum with a terminal-illness romance as awful as Autumn in New York.
2) No black actor, regardless of acclaim or popularity, can ever transcend the Mythical Black Man motif. By virtue of gentle blackness, Smith’s Ben:
- Encourages an elderly woman to speak with him about her abuse.
- Befriends a vegetarian Great Dane (the film’s only good actor).
- Enters someone’s private hospital room in the dead of night.
- Makes a superhuman recovery from a bone-marrow transplant.
- Fixes overnight a printing press that’s been broken for five decades.
3) Congenital heart failure can’t be that bad. After all, Emily’s (Rosario Dawson) cosmetics-counter glow brightens as she approaches death.
4) Said illness will not keep Ben from trying to get in Emily’s pants.
5) Milquetoast dweebs don’t suit Smith. The insulting, shadowy-thriller secrecy surrounding Ben’s planned suicide robs Smith of his natural forcefulness.
6) M. Night Shyamalan didn’t concoct the Zeroes’ worst ending. To atone for an accident in which he killed seven people (including his wife), Ben intends to donate his organs to those in need. Too bad the jellyfish — yes, the jellyfish — with which he kills himself would essentially render organs toxic.
7) There are cruel people deemed unworthy of one of Ben’s gifts. You’ll wish Smith had found you unworthy of the “gift” of a two-hour kick to the stomach.